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Thread: Useless UN

  1. #166
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    The US claimed authorisation for the action under Resolution 1441 which promised
    "a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations" and promised "serious consequences" should Iraq fail to comply.

    The whole crux of the argument between US/UK and the French etc was that the French
    wanted another resolution to be passed before military action could be taken. The US claimed that the above resolution gave them sufficent authority without another resolution. They did want another resolution but were unable to get agreement.

    Both the U.S. ambassador to the UN, John Negroponte, and the UK ambassador Jeremy Greenstock, in promoting Resolution 1441, had given assurances that it provided no "automaticity," no "hidden triggers," no step to invasion without consultation of the Security Council.

    The US did not get UN approval United Nations
    Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in September 2004, "From our point of view and the UN Charter point of view, it was illegal."
    But you are sadly correct - I think the UN might well be finished because two founder member states, and Perm SC members at that, chose to ignore the Charter.

    Hans Blix wanted more time - 8 weeks, I believe. America wanted a war - rightly or wrongly - and wasnt willing to wait.

    The sad thing was, Resolution 1441 was passed with more support than for the original Gulf War.

    Why couldnt the US wait 8 weeks?

  2. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by PubFather
    But you are sadly correct - I think the UN might well be finished because two founder member states, and Perm SC members at that, chose to ignore the Charter.
    All Five members have ignore the Charter and not just once.

  3. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers
    Not like the 1st time this has happenned nor will it be the last. All 3 had fought wars without UN approval and vetoed any resolution condeming their actions. The UN is only useful when it is used.
    Well you yourself are validating my claim. This simply implies that every perm UNSC uses the UN when it suits them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Office of Engineers
    Ok, you have several things out of chronology. The US's legal status for that war, even within the US itself is based upon the UN Resolutions and Iraq's compliance after the Kuwait War.

    We have more than enough UNSC Resolutions threatening consequences if Iraq did not comply.

    It is the US's position that once the UN declares Iraq is not complying with UNSC Resolutions that the US is free to enforce those resolutions through the use of force.

    It is the French, Russian, and Chinese position that such force must be authorized by the UNSC.

    The Brits try to get the UNSC to authourize that force (even with the Canadian Compromise) but the US has always view that such authorization was not necessary.
    Then why did US bother to go to UN. Ans is bec of Blair, for all the flak he was getting at home. Either way, did the UNSC trio do anything to stop US except for statements etc. No, There wasn't much they could have done anyways.


    Quote Originally Posted by Office of Engineers
    Better lawyers than you and I are debating that. One thing is clear though. The UN did not forbid such an action.
    I am niether debating it nor implying that.



    Quote Originally Posted by Office of Engineers
    Everybody disregards the UN. It's only usage is when good people need an umbrella to get together to do some good.
    When everyone disregards it whats the use of having it in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Office of Engineer
    Does India invite the UN in to discuss Kashmir?
    I don't know your background, nor your knowledge of Kashmir issue but I will try to be concise.

    By signing the document of accession (Maharaja Hari Singh) closed the debate on Kashmir's status. It is pure & simple it is a part of Indian Union.

    Now Pakistan has been doing its merry dance for last 57 years, but what I don't get is what is UN's say in this matter.

    I understand that there was a pledge made on our part to hold a pleblicite but it was made under diff circumstances. By invading Kashmir, Pakistan broke the agreement, and India thereon saw no reason to honour that pledge.
    Whatever the outcome, Pakistan was insecure & hence invaded.

    Colin Powell has on record stated that this is a matter for India & Pakistan to solve on. I don't welcome UN intervention for it is incompetent.

    UN hardly wield's any influence without the backing of the US & when US itself has stated through Colin Powell that it does not intend to impose a solution (Which wouldn't work anyways) I don't see where does the question of UN even coming in between come up from.

  4. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gautam
    Then why did US bother to go to UN. Ans is bec of Blair, for all the flak he was getting at home. Either way, did the UNSC trio do anything to stop US except for statements etc. No, There wasn't much they could have done anyways.
    Why not? What have you got to lose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gautam
    When everyone disregards it whats the use of having it in the first place.
    Because it's the ONLY hope for alot of people. Without the UN, the US wouldn't have looked even once at Dufar. And as bad as Rwanda was and as bad as the UN was in Rwanda; they were the only ones in there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gautam
    Now Pakistan has been doing its merry dance for last 57 years, but what I don't get is what is UN's say in this matter.
    The point is that you can't have it both ways. Either you want a UN the way you want it to be or the UN you have the way it is. Either you let the UN solve all international disputes or just let the UN in when it suits you. The reality was always the latter.

  5. #170
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    bluesman,

    You seem to not recognize the fact that an odious nation that enters into a bi-lateral agreement with us is a different breed of cat than one that is admitted to a body like the UN, simply because they have their own postage stamps, as if no other qualifications matter.
    in addition to what OoE said...

    it seems like we are we getting to the heart of the matter now.

    the reason why such an odious nation that enters into a bi-lateral agreement with us is different breed of cat is simply because that odious nation has USE for us. what was the FDR quote again? “he may be a SOB, but he’s our SOB.”

    so those are OUR qualifications. might not matter if you're a mass-murdering thug, but as long as you support US interests, we'll give ya weapons and aid and tend to look the other way when nasty things happen within your country. in other words, we still by and large follow the rules of the westphalian system, the system that instituted realism as part and parcel of the international relations business.

    so, isn't your argument a bit strange, then? you criticize the UN because it does not place morality at the top of its list in choosing its members (as if a system whose charter members included stalinist russia and chiang kai-shek's china would have fit the bill). but it's a "different breed of cat" when the US does the same- and more- with regards to its more unsavory allies?

    in the end the UN is an organization that does a FEW things right, every now and then. in fact, its entire existence is at once a rebuke and an acceptance of realism in the international system. countries actually donate troops and $$ to activities that are at best a peripheral interest to them. accordingly, what they give out is necessarily small.

    we can criticize the UN for many things, from corruption to incompetence to a paralyzing bureaucracy. but morality, both in terms of its actions and its members? not only does it strike me as unlikely that the US (or any like-body of an "alliance of free nations", as confed imagines) would have the desire to do what the UN does with respect to peacekeepers, under such conditions, the UN should not have been created in the first place!

  6. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers
    The point is that you can't have it both ways. Either you want a UN the way you want it to be or the UN you have the way it is. Either you let the UN solve all international disputes or just let the UN in when it suits you. The reality was always the latter.
    Well from the time I can remember, I have never been a fan of the UN, nor am I about to change.

  7. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers
    All Five members have ignore the Charter and not just once.
    Thank you for that - it clarified my thinking somewhat.

    The point I'm making is that the UN is what the member states make of it. If it is used as intended it can be and has been effective.

    If it is used (or not used) according to narrow, national self-interest, then it will not be effective

  8. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gautam
    Well from the time I can remember, I have never been a fan of the UN, nor am I about to change.
    Nor am I asking you to but you cannot ignore the works of Generals MacKenzie, Dallaire, Rose, Cott, and Jetley.

  9. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis
    parihaka,



    a good principle, certainly, but then that would mean america of the 40s-60s really shouldn't have had a vote, because of the jim crow laws in the south, for example.

    furthermore, such a position would also state the clear presence of morality as one of the principal concerns of international affairs. it would mean a complete re-evaluation of the westphalian system established in 1648. while that is perhaps an admirable goal, it is also problematic. japan, for example, has the Yasukuni memorial which is visited by the PM of japan along with numerous lawmakers; in the memorial, there are displays that state that WWII was caused by the west and that japan was trying to free asia from the imperialists. japan was forced to war by the US. the nanjing massacre didn't happen, and the IJA helped pacify and liberate asia. war criminals are honored. so...where's morality now?

    in fact, the US itself is unsure as to the level of morality it should inject into its own foreign affairs. we had, and have, no qualms about supporting dictators in libya, saudi arabia, pakistan, south korea, singapore, and taiwan- among other places. we turned a blind eye when chiang kai-shek blithely massacred taiwanese (2-28 massacre). even now, when we talk about spreading democracy across the globe...we give dictators in egypt and saudi arabia not much more than a slap across the wrist (if even that).

    where is the morality in that? if the US (and its allies) cannot act perfectly according to strict morals (as opposed to realist interests), then should it also expect a world organization that includes distinctly less savory characters to do the same? and would it be fair to criticize the UN for being wholly worthless when it does not live up to its most ideal goals all the time?
    You're equating the sin of hypocrisy with evil. A nation or individual may be guilty of hypocrisy but still have good intentions. Because they have good intentions but do not always live up to them is NOT the same as an individual or nation whos' intent is evil.
    It it easy to distinguish between such at any given time because you can view their overall actions and balance a judgement on them. Under your logic, it would be impossible to pick a jury for a trial because 'no-one is without sin'.
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers
    They don't have an equal say, not even within the UN. Norway has dictated the situation on the ground in Yugoslavia. Zaire has not. Those countries that take the extra step in accepting international responsibilities are accorded with extra authority over those who do not.

    Canada had far more say in Kosovo than China.
    Actions speak louder than words, yes, but if Mugabe can cast a vote preventing Norway or Canada from action on any given issue, then he has more power than he deserves.
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility

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  11. #176
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    Kosovo is a good example then.

    China and Russia opposed the action. Clinton pypassed the UN and even the Chinese embassy got bombed.

    Result was that the UN authorized KFOR.

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    parihaka,

    You're equating the sin of hypocrisy with evil. A nation or individual may be guilty of hypocrisy but still have good intentions. Because they have good intentions but do not always live up to them is NOT the same as an individual or nation whos' intent is evil.

    It it easy to distinguish between such at any given time because you can view their overall actions and balance a judgement on them. Under your logic, it would be impossible to pick a jury for a trial because 'no-one is without sin'.
    i think the difficulty here is how you want to create or judge the "UN" as an organization. are you going to do it on the basis of morality? or upon sovereignty? or upon other factors?

    if we are to judge upon morality, we go into a huge philosophical morass. WHOSE morality? who is to decide the "intentions" of a nation? under the jury system, we can indeed judge people and pick a jury for a trial as based upon our laws and constitution. but what about in the case of the UN?

    what if we say that the very judges are flawed? stalinist russia as a permanent member of the security council cannot be viewed as having very good intentions...

    so are we to go through each member-state and judge whether they belong in the UN based upon morality? do we let japan in, if its lawmakers still worship at a shrine honoring war criminals? do we let saudi arabia in, if it oppresses women and spews out a hateful version of islam? or china, with its "one-child" policy, and multiply that by however many countries out there that have committed bad deeds. heck, quite a few euros like to proclaim america as "evil" for still having the death penalty.

    you would have to look at the deeds and ask if it was evil in the first place, or if it was merely "hypocrisy in action", or if indeed it was a sign of an "evil nation". good luck finding the judges, or for that matter even a set standard of morality to judge each nation by. how many nations would agree with each other?

  13. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis
    i think the difficulty here is how you want to create or judge the "UN" as an organization. are you going to do it on the basis of morality? or upon sovereignty? or upon other factors?
    I’n this instance I'm not attempting to judge the UN, but it’s member states. Simple jurisprudence based on the charter takes care of the rest.
    Quote Originally Posted by astralis
    if we are to judge upon morality, we go into a huge philosophical morass. WHOSE morality? who is to decide the "intentions" of a nation? under the jury system, we can indeed judge people and pick a jury for a trial as based upon our laws and constitution. but what about in the case of the UN?
    Again the UN has a charter.

    WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED
    to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
    to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
    to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
    to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
    AND FOR THESE ENDS
    to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and
    to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and
    to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and
    to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples, et cetera
    General adherence over time to this charter should be the condition for full participation in the UN. There should be no ‘right’ of full membership to the UN unless the countries concerned show intent to adhere to the charter, otherwise what’s the point in having it.
    Quote Originally Posted by astralis
    what if we say that the very judges are flawed? stalinist russia as a permanent member of the security council cannot be viewed as having very good intentions...
    The UNSC is a flawed part of the UN that needs restructuring along with the rest of it. Removal of veto powers would be a good step, and decisions made on majority vote within an expanded UNSC used instead.
    Quote Originally Posted by astralis
    so are we to go through each member-state and judge whether they belong in the UN based upon morality? do we let japan in, if its lawmakers still worship at a shrine honoring war criminals? do we let saudi arabia in, if it oppresses women and spews out a hateful version of islam? or china, with its "one-child" policy, and multiply that by however many countries out there that have committed bad deeds. heck, quite a few euros like to proclaim america as "evil" for still having the death penalty.

    you would have to look at the deeds and ask if it was merely if it was indeed evil in the first place, if it was "hypocrisy in action", or if it was a sign of an "evil nation". good luck finding the judges, or for that matter even a set standard of morality to judge each nation by. how many nations would agree with each other?
    Would each country be judged individually? Yes.

    Who would be the judges? Their peers, the member states of the UN.

    That’s how democracy and jurisprudence works. The levels of evil vs hypocrisy vs morality vs intent are worked out within the aegis of the charter. Sure it becomes a ‘club’, rather than an organization with open entry, but if you won’t meet the requirements of the club, why should you be a member? Dismissing a moral basis because it is to a certain extent subjective simply promotes and approves the law of the jungle.

    The only conclusion I can take from your arguments is that there is no way to fix the UN, or that it doesn’t need fixing, neither which I can agree with. The UN is needed now more than ever and it needs to be a functional organization, not just in aid relief but as OoE's experience points out, in effectively dealing with those countries who actively seek to oppress their own people and other nations.
    Last edited by Parihaka; 04 May 06, at 02:00.
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  14. #179
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    parihaka,

    you are certainly right in that i have a somewhat fatalistic view of the UN. it can be cleaned up- to some degree. it can be reformed- to some degree. however, the basis of its troubles is really quite hard to solve, because it is fundamentally a contradiction: the UN is an organization whose ideals are that of liberalism, but whose member states are profoundly moved by the dictates of realism.

    what you advocate is for these member states to make their judgments based upon liberalist thought, or at least include more of it in their diplomacy. this would somewhat solve the contradiction (but not fully so, as i doubt any nation will ever put liberalist thought at the pinnacle of foreign policy decisionmaking), however, this would have a few effects.

    one effect of this would be to cut down greatly upon the number of states that would be allowed entrance into the UN. look at the top ten contributors of troops to the UN in 2006, for instance:

    -pakistan
    -bangladesh
    -india
    -nigeria
    -ghana
    -nepal
    -jordan
    -uruguay
    -ethiopia
    -kenya

    not exactly the biggest collection of free (or for that matter, moral) countries in the world. you see the problem, now?

    in reforming the UN, one of the biggest clashes is this one between morality/freedom and sovereignty. we can remove or weaken the principle of the latter for the principle of the former. however, in doing so, we would most likely alienate many countries whose moralities/beliefs are different (if not outright antiethical) to our own.

    is this worth it? well, if you believe that the UN should be scrapped altogether, sure. but who's gonna replace these people? i, for one, do not see america/japan/UK et al as very eager to replace the peacekeepers sent by the likes of ethiopia and bangladesh.

    so, we come back to the main problem once more. if the "cure" is so strong- and is only partially likely to work- that it kills the patient, what is one to do? the best is to reform what we can, knowing full well that until the world completely shifts onto a new paradigm of international relations (not likely), this is the best we can do. incremental and small reforms. a disappointing result, yes, but better than the alternative of scrapping it altogether.

  15. #180
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    Wheeee! This may be my longest quote post!
    Quote Originally Posted by parihaka
    FULL REPORT
    Weighty reading but worth the effort
    I had a few problems with the report. Firstly much of what they call success by the UN is still in places near the boiling point. Sooner or later the steam will build up and the tank will blow again as nothing has actually been solved. Another example is that much of it speaks of UN involvement, then it breaks into how the region in question had an economic boom of some type and the problems ended. I'd personally have to base the end of conflict on the fact that the people have too much work to do, and money to spend, to waste time killing each other. I could go on, but you get my point. The UN has done good things, I just don't believe they did them well, or even in a timely fashion.
    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers
    Most of these decisions are the responsibilities of the UNSC and that means US, UK, France, Russia, and China.
    Two tyrannys and three somewhat free countries that have to bribe each other just to keep from walking out on negotiations.
    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers
    Even here, the people with the fortitude and courage to act did act against the wishes of the UNSC.
    Isn't this supporting my argument that there has to be a better way to set policy?
    Quote Originally Posted by Garry
    there is nothing good in tyrants. But reality is that their existence is justified with stage of development of people under their rule.
    Wow! I'm dumber for having read that! Please tell me why a person subjected to tyranny requires it? What makes them deserve to be enslaved, tortured, murdered and tossed into a mass grave? Better yet, explain to me how an American colonist was different 10 minutes before the British fell, compared to 10 minutes after they fell.
    Quote Originally Posted by Garry
    Even, Bush has come to compromise..... he is supporting Aliev - the president and the son of the president in Azerbaijan - a republic with oil & gas resources where US oil companies is doing a lot of business. Lukashenko in Belorussia is absolutelly the same but USA would condemn him.

    So USA diversion from Real Politik did not last long.... unfortunatelly. I was really happy to see when USA condemned their former aly and president Karimov, following PRICIPLES! Too bad this policy did not last long.....
    Cut the anti-American BS. You need to take a long hard look at your own country and realize that anything bad the USA is doing your country is doing too, or even worse. Real politik will not end until we the people demand it's end as a single voice. One country cannot stop it without others along for the ride, it would be suicide.
    Quote Originally Posted by Garry
    It does not give nor take power.
    The UN gives tyrants power within the UN, tyrants take power otherwise. Also, regime change is a phrase you should be familiar with from UN debates. The UN has the ability to call for the end of a tyrant's power.
    Quote Originally Posted by Garry
    It gives the right to the LEADERS of the nations to speak out for their people.....
    Tyrants speak only for themselves.
    Quote Originally Posted by Garry
    While here I read that many people expect UN to reflect WESTERN views on things..... and approve every action of "CIVILIZED" countries....
    You really need to actually read this thread then...
    Quote Originally Posted by astralis
    a good principle, certainly, but then that would mean america of the 40s-60s really shouldn't have had a vote, because of the jim crow laws in the south, for example.
    No country makes the grade. None! That's supposed to be the point of the UN! The chance to make ourselves, and the world better. To give us the ability to fight tyranny, foreign and domestic.
    Quote Originally Posted by astralis
    furthermore, such a position would also state the clear presence of morality as one of the principal concerns of international affairs.
    Yes! End real politik now, while there's still time!
    Quote Originally Posted by astralis
    so are you not going to express disgust at the US for providing dictators the rather more material things such as arms, aid, and intelligence?
    I believe we all have, repeatedly...
    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers
    They don't have an equal say, not even within the UN.
    You're right, the UN is very unequal, but scum still has a say in what happens.
    Quote Originally Posted by PubFather
    The decision lies with the Security Council. Dont blame the UN
    The Security Council is part of the UN!
    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers
    Those wearing the blue berets are the ones who make or break the UN mission.
    I agree, and I have no doubt we can do better for them than the UN in it's current form.
    Quote Originally Posted by PubFather
    The US did not get UN approval United Nations
    The cease-fire was enough approval. Without a UNSC resolution declairing it illegal, it was not. The corrupt Kofi has no power to say it was, and he is full of **** for saying it...
    Quote Originally Posted by PubFather
    Why couldnt the US wait 8 weeks?
    Because if nothing had changed in a decade, nothing was going to change in 8 weeks...
    Quote Originally Posted by parihaka
    there is no way to fix the UN, or that it doesn’t need fixing, neither which I can agree with. The UN is needed now more than ever and it needs to be a functional organization, not just in aid relief but as OoE's experience points out, in effectively dealing with those countries who actively seek to oppress their own people and other nations.
    Amen...
    Last edited by Confed999; 04 May 06, at 02:53. Reason: corrected a few spelling mistakes, just a few ;)
    No man is free until all men are free - John Hossack
    I agree completely with this Administration’s goal of a regime change in Iraq-John Kerry
    even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act-John Kerry
    He may even miscalculate and slide these weapons off to terrorist groups to invite them to be a surrogate to use them against the United States. It’s the miscalculation that poses the greatest threat-John Kerry

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